I've procured a digital copy of the Fifty Shades trilogy even before Twilight moms went raving about it, catapulting it to the New York Times' Best Seller List. After spending a month on my iBooks library, I decided to finally give this highly controversial series a chance, and, boy, did it give me an eyeful.
As much as I don't want to admit it, the first book was surprisingly addicting. There is something about the mysterious, rich, handsome and sparkly perfect male love interest falling for the seemingly mediocre girl next door with self-worth problems. Sounds familiar? It should. The premise has already been published internationally, garnered millions of screaming hormonal fans and gave birth to an equally ridiculously successful movie franchise.
Twilight-inspired BDSM fanfiction. This is ultimately what the whole series is. Anastasia Steele is precisely Bella Swan in ropes with her self-abhorrence, exasperating quirks and irritating dislike for expensive gifts. The same way Christian Grey is Edward, minus the superhuman strength, blood cravings and literal sparkle.
Having read and written too many fanfiction chapters for my own good, for me, this literary serving came from the McDonald's fastfood chain of greasy fiction. Not much seasoning, full of unwanted calories and prepared for the non-choosy masses. There are countless of better places to dine in, however, it still sells and people keep coming back for more.
It's like reading crack. You know it's bad for you and you could even feel your neurons wasting away but you can't seem to stop. At least for the first book (Fifty Shades of Grey), I've had this experience. However, with Fifty Shades Darker, the only thing that got darker is one's view of the plot. Because there was none. It felt like reading endless fanfiction chapters of fluff and smut with no direction whatsoever. Even the graphic sex scenes, which, let's face it, are a big contribution to the success of the trilogy, were toned down to make way for cuddles and never-ending professions of love.
Whether I will find the will and the patience to start and finish the latest installment of this runaway hit, I don't know, although one thing is clear. People reading these books should throw away the paperback novel and stick to their obscure iPads, Kindles and iPhones ebook versions because if I were to spot someone reading this book on the LRT, mental snickers would follow.
You'll know what I mean.